If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you’re listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely.
So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Habit #1: Be Proactive
Habit #2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit #3: Put First Things First
Habit #4: Think Win-Win
Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit #6: Synergize
Habit #7: Sharpen the Saw